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Polyrhythm refers to the superposition of several rhythms in a polyphonic piece. Each individual voice can also have its own measure or even its own meter ( polymetric ).

Polyrhythm is used in works by Chatschaturjan ( e.g. as a subdivision rhythm ), Dmitri Kabalewski (as a complementary rhythm , as such in Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 ) and Haydn (as a conflict rhythm ).

Polyrhythm is a hallmark of traditional African music and has also been found in jazz and Argentine tango since the 1950s . Based on the different percussion instruments and drums in the African cultures, a characteristic meter resulted for each instrument. However, there is a great variety of different ways of making music in Africa. While the Maasai peoples create their rhythms while dancing by hanging themselves with various rattles and the like, the neighboring peoples, for example the Luo , have created complicated dances to the accompaniment of drums. Polyrhythmic music can also be found in West African cultures , as well as in all peoples with spoken drums . Polyrhythmic music-making results in complex structures .

From these areas the polyrhythmic spread both to the African south and to the Berber peoples and Tuareg in the north. Polyrhythm can also be found in Moroccan music. Today you can find polyrhythmic music in all areas of Latin America , especially in the Caribbean , where it was brought by the African slaves .

In pop music , the polyrhythm is represented on the one hand in parts of Latin rock , on the other hand by various African pop musicians. In new music she has been particularly well received by Steve Reich and György Ligeti . Well-known representatives of the metal genre who make use of polyrhythm are the bands Meshuggah and Tool .

Audio file / audio sample Audio sample 2: 3 polyrhythm ? / i Audio sample 3: 4 polyrhythm ? / iAudio file / audio sample

See also

Web links

Commons : Polyrhythm  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wieland Ziegenrücker: General music theory with questions and tasks for self-control. German Publishing House for Music, Leipzig 1977; Paperback edition: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, and Musikverlag B. Schott's Sons, Mainz 1979, ISBN 3-442-33003-3 , pp. 51-53 ( Polyrhythmics - Polymetrics ).